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|Library budget rises slightly|
|Written by Susanna Sheehan|
|Wednesday, 04 December 2013 09:49|
The Duxbury Free Library, which library director Carol Jankowski calls “the epicenter of the community,” is seeking a modest increase for its operating budget next year, however, the building is in need of almost $600,000 in repairs, including a new $300,000 roof.
Jankowski presented her Fiscal Year 2015 operating budget and capital projects requests to the Board of Selectmen last Monday night. The FY15 budget totals $1.26 million, a 3.23 percent increase from the current year. This includes $939,334 for salaries, a 2.32 percent increase and $328,239 for library ex- penses, a 5.9 percent increase. The FY15 budget starts July 1, 2014.
The library on Alden Street serves over 177,600 people annually, said Jankowski. It circulates over 236,000 items and offers 560 programs. Sixty-four percent of residents are active library card users and the use of technology in both eBook circulations and support and instruction has risen greatly, said Jankowski.
“It’s a community des- tination for all residents at all stages of their lives,” said Jankowski.
The budget increases will pay for salary raises for 21 employees. It will add five hours to a reference department position, which had its hours reduced in 2011, and expand the custodian’s job into a janitor’s position.
The almost six percent rise in the expense budget will allow the library to buy more books, periodicals and non- print items.
“We purchase books in five formats,” Jankowski said, adding that eBooks have seen a 156 percent increase in circulation in the last year.
Also in the expense budget is more funding for building and grounds maintenance and money to upgrade technology, such as updating the library’s Web site, the 60-computer network in the building and offering a better wireless system.
This year, Jankowski said her capital budget “has an emphasis on the building envelope first.”
She is seeking $300,000 for a new roof, $275,000 for masonry and waterproofing the 86-year old brick building, and $14,000 for a new energy management system.
Jankowski said the roof desperately needs replacement.
“We’ve been patching the roof for ten years,” she said. “It’s been a serious problem and it’s something that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.”
The library building was the town’s first high school; it was renovated for $6.3 million and opened in 1997. It has had problems since then with water penetrating the masonry.
The HVAC system in the library has also been prob- lematic, said Jankowski, adding that while this major issue must be addressed in the future, her $14,000 capital request for new software for the HVAC is a critical need. The expense has been approved by facilities director Brian Cherry.
“It is the brains for the HVAC, which has crashed several times,” she said. “It should save on utility costs in the long term.”
A recent survey by 300 library patrons indicated that they wanted the library to reopen on Sundays. Currently, it is open 50 hours a week including only 20 Sundays.